ABC - Heywire
Undertaken by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) the following case studies illustrate stories of changemakers and social entrepreneurs from regional and remote Australia. The videos which feature members of the ABC's Heywire 'Trailblazer' program showcase young regional Australians running innovative ventures in their local communities.
The stories also highlight the skills and capabilities required to make informed decisions about young people's study and career options. Learning about the entrepreneurial capabilities of critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and flexibility can help in the process of preparing students for the jobs both now and into the future.
To help his single parent family, Aidyn decided to start his own business. Inspired by his experience helping on a local farm, he started mowing lawns and doing odd jobs. His entrepreneurial spirit has helped him transform this small project into a thriving, community-focused small business.
After completing her bachelor of Agricultural Business management, Aimee wanted to share her passion for agriculture with young people around Australia. Little Brick Farmers highlights the diverse opportunities in agriculture, fishing and forestry. Little BRICK Pastoral, used her infamous Lego 'farmers' to share fun stories about life on the farm. Through speaking at career expos and attending school events, Aimee has provided young people with stories, information, and resources to encourage them to pursue agricultural careers.
Alana is the fourth generation of her family to live on their Great Dividing Range property in Rydal. Fledgling Farmers aims to start positive conversations about succession in family farming. Family farming succession can be a difficult topic to talk about. Alana is motivated by the countless stories she has heard of family farming succession gone wrong, including in her own family. By connecting people with resources and tools, Alana hopes to make this an easier process. She hopes to inspire young people to start these conversations and be more open about this difficult topic.
Dear Cris connects primary school students with students from different cultural backgrounds, to increase tolerance. The letter writing program is facilitated by a curriculum written and delivered by young people, building employment opportunities for young people in regional education. Ashley says: "By improving awareness, students are more likely to be accepting of individuals who come from different backgrounds."
Life on a Station began as social media project to showcase life on remote cattle stations. It has grown to include photographic exhibitions in local airports to increase agricultural tourism. Money raised from the sale of artwork is donated to local agricultural causes, stimulating the local economy. Emma says: "Life on a station is a light-hearted way to educate. By sharing a small part of Australian agriculture, I believe that I can play a small part in bridging this gap, of the city and rural divide."
In 2014, Media Mob, an initiative of Barkly Arts, made a series of Video Postcards thanks to an FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grant. They won Best Body of Work for it at the Fist Full of Films Competition in Darwin and Best Visual Recording at the National Remote Indigenous Media Festival in 2014. The films showcase the great achievements of young people in his region.
When no one stepped up to run the local pool, Lauren decided to take the plunge and put her hand up. She now manages her community's public pool, including overseeing the canteen, managing a team of volunteers and running swimming training.
In 2014, Lucy and Kelli Williams they lost their Dad to suicide. Passionate about reducing stigma around mental illness, the sisters organised Teenage Trifecta – a multifaceted event for young people and parents. The event included informative sessions for young people about mental health, healthy eating and physical activity. For parents, sessions were run to better understand self-esteem and resilience for young people. Lucy and Kelli feel that there is a lack of mental health awareness in small towns around Australia. They aim to take this event to other small towns.
As a proud Kaytetye woman, Rona is dedicated to increasing awareness and recognition of Indigenous and Torres Strait Island culture and lived experiences. She created Common Ground, a website to help address gaps in knowledge about Indigenous and Torres Straight Island culture and language. Rona envisions a more accepting Australia, that will appreciate its history. She hopes that her website will influence positive change and help combat racism.
Founder William Sharples was unemployed when his passion for video games sparked the Eden Game Development Centre. This space was designed for young regional people to engage with technology and learn practical coding skills by creating apps and games. The centre provides workshops and events for young people and raises awareness about job opportunities within the technology industry. This initiative was developed to help at risk and disengaged young people become involved in meaningful and fulfilling projects.
Grassroots Blueprint aims to improve the networks and wellbeing of farmers in rural NSW, by linking them with local businesses and health services at informal events. The project brings together disparate parts of the local economy to encourage collaboration through personal and professional connection. Sally says: "At every event I see people talking about mental health which is really encouraging as I believe if we begin to talk about it we are closer to reducing suicide rates and reducing negative stigma."
Founded and run by young people, the Death of a Parent Support Group provides professional and peer support to young people in the ACT who have lost a parent but aren't eligible for other support services. Through informal meetings, the group aims to increase the general wellbeing of participants navigating grief. Louise says: "I realised that if you are over 25, or if your parent dies of anything but cancer, there were just no support groups. So I decided to set one up."
By creating large-scale murals of local endangered species, Woomelang hopes to become a fixture in the Victorian Silo Art Trail, increasing local tourism and raising awareness of environmental issues. Woomelang is a struggling small town and this project aims to stimulate the local economy through tourism. Joe says: "We're just this little town kind of stuck in the middle that's missing out at the moment, but we think we'll soon harness the tourists."
Established by local young people, the Kuruma Marthudunera Aboriginal Corporation's Youth Council aims to equip young people to be leaders in their community, while also helping them connect to their culture and country. The team are delivering youth-focused cultural projects. Through training and professional development, the youth-led project aims to also increase employment opportunities for young Kuruma Marthudunera people. Daniel says: "We want to close the gap and give our youth every opportunity to be ready for training and education."
Following his own battle with substance abuse and criminal activity, Nathan was inspired to help other young men so they wouldn't have to go through the same things he did. Through a program incorporating Indigenous knowledge, culture and dance, he hopes to keep at risk youth in his community on the right track. Nathan says: "I want these young men to know that no matter how many times we fall off track, there is support to get up and go again. "
In October 2014, it was estimated that up to 10 per cent of the population in the small Tasmanian town of Smithton were using ice. A crew of young people decided they wanted to do something about this issue in their community. They banded together to make a documentary about the impacts of ice which they hope will be used as an education tool in schools. Two Trains features local stories about drug addiction and recovery. The documentary was directed by 19-year-old Trailblazer, Jobi Starick.
Students Against Racism provides mentoring and training for students from refugee and migrant backgrounds to deliver anti-racism training across Tasmania including with schools, local government and the Police. The project increases employment opportunities for new migrants. Om says: "When we come from different countries, people who are already here have a negative view [of what refugees are like]. But we are not those people."
Through education, awareness and events, The Postnatal Project hopes to reduce the stigma surrounding Postnatal Depression and encourage help seeking among women in regional communities. Zelma has turned the project into a thriving small business, offering consultations and resources within the local community. Zelma says: "When I was first seeking treatment, I just really needed that validation that what I was going through was really common and on a scale of normal."